All posts filed under: COOK

Whole Wheat Bread

Somehow I found myself with two 5-pound bags of whole wheat flour and not a speck of white flour in sight.  I went on the hunt for wheat bread recipes and sadly discovered most bread recipes contain a mixture of whole wheat and white flour.  Finally I found this super easy and quick recipe with only whole wheat flour and was delighted with the results.  After baked and thoroughly cooled uncovered at room temperature, the bread stayed moist stored in a large Ziploc bag on the counter (NOT in the fridge) and did not mold after a 4+ days (a rarity for homemade breads.) While you might be tempted to laugh at the exact baking time listed in the directions–don’t.  The bread baked perfectly. Turns out that 100% wheat flour recipes can be more challenging as the bread can turn out very dense and almost bitter.  By adding lovely sweetness from molasses and honey, this bread did not turn out bitter at all–rather it tastes homey and healthy.  The sweet-level is just enough, but it’s …

Grilled Zucchini + Lentil Quesadillas

When in the guts of Summer, when temperature highs are in the 90s (or 100s) and humidity is giving you a new hair-do, the real high points for me are AN OUTDOOR GRILL and OUTDOOR FARMERS MARKETS.  This week browsing the New York City Stuyvesant Farmers Market with my friend Sarah, the real stars were pit fruits (peaches, nectarines, plums,) tomatoes, and zucchini.  Nick and I stocked up on all of the above.  Inspired by the gorgeous yellow and green zucchini, I set out to make a vegetarian main course using this versatile vegetable.  Using what I had on hand (tortillas,) I decided to go for quesadillas.  For added protein and fiber, I added lentils.  The end result was so delicious.  You should see this recipe less as a “recipe” and more as a template.  You could easily substitute grilled eggplant or red/green peppers for the zucchini and your favorite cheese will work as long as it melts well.    An important tip: be SURE to cook your veggies first. If you don’t, they’ll put out …

Tartine’s Seeded Whole Grain Bread

I’ve never pretended to be a baker.  For one reason, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth.  Second reason is normally baking recipes serve an army: dozens of cookies, three layer cake, etc.  And with 2 people in my household, that’s too much for us.  Making bread, however, is different.  You can easily freeze extra loaves and/or slices.  With recent media featuring recipes from San Francisco’s Tartine and New York’s Jim Lahey, I couldn’t help but be inspired, and I felt that maybe, just maybe, I could try my hand at being a non-sweet, more savory baker. This particular recipe comes from Gwyneth Paltrow’s GOOP, courtesy of Tartine baker and co-owner Chad Roberston.  I followed the instructions exactly for the poolish pre-ferment (packaged yeast) version–including weighing all measurements.  I did not have linen-lined baskets for the last rise, so I simply lined a few wide, short ceramic bowls with clean kitchen towels–worked just fine.  This bread was so amazingly good.  The crust was crisp and dark and the inside was perfectly moist and chewy.  …

Cacio e Pepe with Fresh Whole Wheat Fettuccine

Fresh pasta is one of my greatest pleasures in life.  So many of us are carb junkies, and pasta is my drug of choice.  As much as I love eating it, I always love making it.  This time around, I kept it simple.  On a recent weeknight, the craving hit hard.  I could have made something fancy, but I’ve been trying to challenge myself to cook with what I have on hand.  Living in the city, it’s so easy to run out for this or go pick up that.  But not this time–I created this dish with only what I had on hand.  I also didn’t want to be a slave to cooking for the night (it WAS a school night.)  Start to finish, this took about 2 hours.  The result was pure comfort.  I didn’t have to grocery shop for anything in this recipe, and with the whole wheat flour mixed in, I didn’t even feel guilty about eating it.  After all, a little butter and cheese never hurt anyone, right? For all of …

Vegetarian Summer Rolls with Brown Sugar Tofu

Summer rolls are one of my favorite, healthy Asian restaurant options.  I usually see them prepared with shrimp, thin rice noodles, cilantro, cucumber, carrot, and lettuce.  I had a package of extra firm tofu in the fridge for a while and decided to experiment with it–thus vegetarian summer rolls were born.  These are incredibly healthy, low in fat, low in carbs, easy to make, and the best part… you can eat a lot of them.  While I really enjoyed my invention (recipe below,) I would encourage you to try any combination you like. Vegetarian Summer Rolls with Brown Sugar Tofu Servings vary based on spring roll wrapper size and how stuffed you like them. Ingredients 1 package extra firm tofu 1 package of spring roll skins or wrappers 1 tbsp. granulated brown sugar 2 cloves garlic, minced and smashed 1 inch of peeled fresh ginger, grated on a microplane grater 1 tbsp. soy sauce 1 tbsp. vegetable oil 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into matchsticks 1 large red bell pepper, sliced into matchsticks 4 …

Apple and Cinnamon Brown Sugar Yogurt with Granola and Dried Cranberries

When I tell you I eat this all of the time, I mean ALL of the time.  Like 5 times a week.  Every time I eat it, my body thanks me.  It’s easy and delicious to buy packaged yogurt with added sweetened fruit.  I’ve found from tirelessly reading yogurt nutritional labels that for a real protein boost with low sugar, my best bet is Fage 0% plain yogurt.  Mixing plain yogurt in a blender with frozen fruit and honey for a smoothie is delicious at home, but for going to work, it’s not practical.  This recipe is an even better alternative as you get so much more flavor and texture: creamy and tangy yogurt, crunchy granola, sweet sugar, chewy and sour cranberries, and tart and crisp apples.  It’s loaded with protein and fiber–a true power breakfast.  I like to make a batch on Sundays for the week, each day’s worth packed into individual containers so they’re ready to grab in the morning. Apple and Cinnamon Brown Sugar Yogurt with Granola and Dried Cranberries Serves 1 …

Best Lentil Salad Ever

Lentils are the stuff of good health.  Packed with protein and fiber (and many helpful vitamins,) many consider lentils to be a super food.  I love how versatile they can be–and this recipe is a great example of that.  I stumbled on this on a blog called My New Roots.  The spice blend is truly unexpected and extraordinary, and it takes the humble lentil to a new level.  A small warning: between the spices and the red onion, this salad packs some heat, so cut back if you feel you need to.  Nick and I love it just the way it is.  You could easily add lots of goodies to it, including more small-chopped vegetables, crumbly cheese, fresh herbs, or nuts.  I’ve prepared it simply here, without any add-ons except for a few small lettuce and arugula leaves.  I didn’t include two of the spices only because I didn’t have them on hand.  The dressing is still delightful.  I like to keep a bowl of the lentils in the fridge to have on hand to …

Spaghetti with Clams

We all have our simple food pleasures.  Spaghetti with Clams can be found on virtually any Italian menu in the country.  Variations on the dish can be subtle but make all the difference.  Every year at Nick’s cousin’s Christmas Eve party, Spaghetti with Clams is served as part of the delicious buffet for 50+ people.  Every year I devour it.  Second, third helpings.  I discovered that the recipe is a well-kept family secret, and one that I’m not yet privy to. (Gerome family–this is my official BEG.  I’m begging!)  So I tried my best to recreate here for you.  If the family does bless me with the exact recipe, I’ll be sure to share it here. Spaghetti with Clams Serves 6 Ingredients 1 pound dried spaghetti, I like Barilla Plus for added nutrients and fiber 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped 2 pounds of littleneck clams, well rinsed of sand and grit 1 bottle of clam juice 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped, plus 1/4 cup chopped reserved 1/2 cup dry white …

Broccoli Crunch Salad with Apple, Walnut, and Dried Cranberries

I have been an admirer of 101 Cookbooks for years.  After reading a new post, I always walking away thinking “I should eat healthier.”  “I should eat more vegetarian.”  “Why don’t I make more recipes from this blog??”  I share Heidi’s passion for broccoli and was thrilled to stumble on this recipe.  I made a recent discovery of a product called PB2.  PB2 is essentially genius peanut butter.  The manufacturer presses peanuts under extreme pressure which releases the natural oils from the nuts.  They then bottle the pressed oil and sell it as well as the ground oil-free peanuts.  The ground peanuts are in powdered form in the jar when purchased.  You simply add a little water to the ground peanuts to make a paste–just like real peanut butter.  It’s truly delicious, and we’ve become addicted.  I decided to substitute PB2 for the peanut butter in the recipe here and was thrilled with the results.  I think you will be too. Broccoli Crunch Recipe courtesy of 101Cookbooks.com The success of this salad hinges on the …

Lentils with Bulgur Wheat + Caramelized Onions

Goodbye 2011.  Hello 2012.  This year was a big year for Nick and I.  We were married May 15th in Naples Florida at the beautiful La Playa Beach & Golf Resort with a small gathering of our closest friends and family.  It was also the year that we lost my 13 year old cat, Sydney, and gained two new members of the family, kittens Miles & Sadie.  2011 was a year of wins and losses, but most of all, a year of abundant love and joy.  It is said that lentils symbolize prosperity, good fortune, and wealth.  Nick and I are raising our forks full of lentils as we ring in 2012 with hopes for forkfuls of more love, health, and happy surprises. Please enjoy this delicious and oh-so healthy lentil recipe not-modified-one-bit from Emeril Lagasse.  A note: Santa was very good to me this year, leaving a new Canon 100mm macro lens in my stocking.  I’m still getting the hang of it, but here are some photos taken with the new lens. Lentils with …